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Silent Waters (2004)

Silent Waters


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: Set in the late 1970s, Silent Waters is a well-meaning but plodding look at the rise of extremism in Pakistan.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Set in the late 1970s, Silent Waters is a well-meaning but plodding look at the rise of extremism in Pakistan.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 868


Movie Info

Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar directs the political drama Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters). Set in a small Pakistani village in 1979, the film follows widowed family matriarch Ayesha (Kirron Kher) as she struggles under the martial law that declares her country a Muslim state. Her teenage son Saleem (Aamir Malik) is encouraged by his wealthy girlfriend Zubeida (Shilpa Shukla) to get a job. However, he ends up hanging out with a bunch of Muslim fundamentalists and causing trouble for the Sikh … More

Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Sabiha Sumar
In Theaters:
Sep 20, 2005
First Run Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Silent Waters

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (6) | DVD (3)

By the time you understand the meaning of its title, Sabiha Sumar's film has delivered an emotional punch.

Full Review… | March 11, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Even behind the veil, the movie tells us, there is dissent -- cinematic dissent.

Full Review… | February 11, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Silent Waters means well, but falls way short of its mark of enlightening the world to the plight of South Asian women in this period of history. It just isn't believable enough.

Full Review… | November 12, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The filmmakers provide a well-meaning, well-timed Pakistani portrait.

Full Review… | October 8, 2004
Top Critic

Although taking place 25 years in the past, director-writer Sabiha Sumar's debut feature has relevance in the world as we now know it.

October 8, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic

Sabiha Sumar's debut feature could scarcely be more relevant to Pakistan's present, or, given this country's history of backing such repressive regimes, to ours.

Full Review… | October 6, 2004
Village Voice
Top Critic

Puts you in the middle of the action and allows you to understand, if not empathize with, all the main characters.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

Leaden and dull.

Full Review… | June 3, 2005
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

An interesting, if incomplete, picture of a community torn apart by religious zealotry.

June 3, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

Swirls amid memory and dreams while reflecting how much is masked by two-faced rhetoric, and how overlooked the victims of patriarchal nationalism and Islamism are.

April 7, 2005
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

As a moviegoing experience, it's a sadly slim proposition.

Full Review… | February 10, 2005
Orlando Weekly

...sporadically intriguing film that's ultimately sunk by director Sabiha Sumar's occasionally simplistic and melodramatic treatment of the material.

Full Review… | November 21, 2004
Reel Film Reviews

An indictment of intolerance, Silent Waters is a truly powerful picture, and of the sort that sneaks up on you and stays with you long after you've left the theatre.

Full Review… | November 12, 2004
Jam! Movies

Gripping and ultimately tragic.

Full Review… | October 8, 2004
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A more nuanced approach would have better articulated their allure to impressionable youth.

Full Review… | October 8, 2004
Boxoffice Magazine

Stirring on religious and humanitarian levels, and very timely notwithstanding its 1979 setting.

Full Review… | October 7, 2004
Christian Science Monitor presents an engaging and informative depiction of Pakistan's tumultuous history from an intimate perspective.

Full Review… | July 11, 2004
All Movie Guide

This incredibly moving film set in a small village in Pakistan in 1979 explores the religious upheavals that turn a nurturing mother's life upside down.

Full Review… | April 2, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Silent Waters

Beautiful film that deals with the remnants of the issues of partition. Family secrets are unveiled when Sikh pilgrams arrive in Pakistan and the eldest son goes fundamentalist. Saddening.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Emotionally gripping. I felt connections with both the Pakistani Muslims and the Hindi Sikhs during this Islamic movement.

Dannielle Albert

Super Reviewer

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